MONDAY, December 7, 2020 – 10:11 AM
Carnival of the Animals, age 50
It is scored for two pianos, two violins, viola, cello, double bass, flute (and piccolo), clarinet (C and B♭), glass harmonica, and xylophone.
This gives excellent info about each part of this set. There are a number of young people featured, but unfortunately this was before common multi-media presentations, so there is nothing to see. What a shame. Bernstein in his heyday was known as a very fine communicator, so his explanations of music remain highly prized. These tracks are divided up into separate files, but you can just start on any of them and let it run.
- I “Introduction et marche royale du lion” (Introduction and Royal March of the Lion)
- Poules et coqs (Hens and Roosters), Hémiones (animaux véloces) (Wild Donkeys Swift Animals)
- Tortues (Tortoises)
- L’Éléphant (The Elephant)
- Kangourous (Kangaroos)
- Aquarium: Read about the glass harmonica HERE.
- Personnages à longues oreilles” (Characters with Long Ears), Le Coucou au fond des bois (The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods)
- Volière (Aviary)
- Pianistes (Pianists)
- Fossiles (Fossils)
- Le cygne (The Swan)
- XIV Final (Finale)
This is one of many good performances where you can watch the players. There is no narration.
This is a great version for both the sound and getting an idea of what is happening in the score.
The quality of the recording is not very good, and that’s a big minus, but there are interesting things here I did not know about.
Saint-Saëns was ashamed of this music
Saint-Saëns did not want this published in his lifetime – with the exception of “The Swan” – but allowed publication after his death. He was afraid that his reputation as a serious composer would be diminished. I would put this decision on my top 10 list of “really stupid decisions by famous composers”.
How about a kid-friendly version?
It would be nice, but so far the only versions I’ve found meant specifically for small children have had very inferior recorded sound.